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Thread: Little Turtles Learn They Have Big Friends (Baby Pig-nosed Turtles)

  1. #1
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    Default Little Turtles Learn They Have Big Friends (Baby Pig-nosed Turtles)

    Little Turtles Learn They Have Big Friends (Baby Pig-nosed Turtles)By, Anita Rachman Wall Street Journal, 1/29/15


    Indonesia scored two big victories in recent weeks against smugglers of pig-nosed turtles, who get their name from their cute piggy snouts.
    On Jan. 17, the Fish Quarantine Inspection Agency seized 2,350 pig-nosed turtles at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Then, on Jan. 22, the agency seized 5,284 pig-nosed turtles at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.
    “We cannot let this happen again and again,” Narmoko Prasmadji, the head of the agency, told The Wall Street Journal.
    Pig-nosed turtles are protected under Indonesian law. But that hasn’t stopped smugglers, who seek profits by selling them to pet stores or even for eating.
    Mr. Prasmadji said in the past three years, the agency has foiled at least five pig-nosed turtles smuggling attempts, “and each [of the attempts] always involved thousands of turtles.”
    Traffic, a group fighting smugglers, says more than 30 seizures totaling more than 80,000 pig-nosed turtles occurred between 2003 and 2013. In one massive seizure in Timika, Papua, in 2009, authorities recovered 12,249 pig-nosed turtles.
    Indonesia Real Time’s Anita Rachman caught up with Chris R. Shepherd, the regional director of Traffic Southeast Asia for his insights into the latest busts and what challenges are ahead. Mr. Shepherd, who earned his PhD from Oxford Brookes University in the UK, was born in Canada and has lived in Southeast Asia for more than 20 years.
    WSJ: Why do people smuggle these turtles? Why are they valuable and who is buying them and for what?
    Mr. Shepherd: Pig-nosed Turtles are largely sought after for sale in the global trade for pets. Given their unique characteristics – they are a bit like a cross between a freshwater turtle and a marine turtle, with a pig-like nose –, they are extremely popular. Most buyers probably don’t realize they are buying animals that have been illegally sourced from the wild, smuggled in luggage or in cargo, and sold, often openly, in pet shops. The main demand currently appears to be coming from China, where the turtles are sold as pets, and consumed as a luxury meat as well.
    WSJ: Can you tell us more about the pig-nosed turtle? Are they found widely? Are their numbers dwindling?
    Mr. Shepherd: Pig-nosed Turtles are found in some parts of northern Australia and on the island of Papua. The vast majority of the illegal harvest for the international trade takes place in Indonesian West Papua. They are restricted to a few river systems, and unfortunately for them, they are seasonal nesters – meaning poachers know when to collect the eggs and hatchlings. Locals claim the numbers are declining, and with the volumes seen in the black market, this is not at all surprising.
    The volumes are simply not sustainable, and enforcement efforts at the source sites, and all along the trade chain, are weak, or in many places, lacking altogether.
    WSJ: The Indonesian government just succeeded in stopping the smuggling of these turtles? What went right?
    Mr. Shepherd: The authorities in the airports in Bali and Jakarta are to be congratulated on these seizures. Vigilance, effective use of informants, and commitment to tackle the illegal trade are all ingredients to successful actions such as these. These airports are very frequently used as import and export points for shipments of illegal wildlife.
    WSJ: How often do you think these turtles might be being successfully smuggled past the authorities?
    Mr. Shepherd: It is very likely that these turtles represent the tip of the iceberg and that far more have already been, or will be, successfully smuggled out of Indonesia. Smugglers would not try to move such large shipments through these airports if they were not quite certain they would get away with it. Past shipments seized in Hong Kong, as well as the availability of this species in markets is evidence that smugglers have succeeded in getting past the Indonesian authorities in the past.
    WSJ: What additional steps should the Indonesian government take to stop this illegal trade?
    Mr. Shepherd: The authorities in Indonesia should not only increase vigilance and effective use of informants, but they should also carry out intelligence-led investigations to map out the networks involved in this racket, and rip them apart. Going after the planners and financers of these smuggling efforts is key. Putting the big traders that control it all behind bars would make a huge difference. Currently, deterrents are minimal, and it usually the carriers or ‘mules’ that are apprehended, and the real criminals remain untouched.
    WSJ: What is your organization doing to try to stop the smuggling of pig-nosed turtles?
    Mr. Shepherd: Traffic in Southeast Asia has carried out research on the trade in this species and has made a number of recommendations to assist the authorities in combating this trade, including flagging the fact that January to March is “Pig-nosed Turtle smuggling season”! We have developed species identification keys and guides in local languages to aid enforcement officers when doing inspections, and we have lobbied the authorities in Indonesia to take strong action against the illegal trade in this and other tortoise and freshwater turtle species. Unfortunately, Indonesia remains one of the largest sources of illegal tortoises and freshwater turtles in the world.
    WSJ: How did you get into the anti-smuggling business? How do you keep yourself motivated when many animals are being illegally trafficked and killed?
    Mr. Shepherd: Working to save wildlife is something I have wanted to do since I was a small boy. I have never wanted to do anything else. Illegal trade is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of an ever-growing list of species, and I can’t live with that. I cannot understand why more people do not want to get involved and do what they can to stop the illegal trade. There needs to be more people getting involved, taking real actions to stop the illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. Currently, wildlife trade has become somewhat of a high profile issue, and we need to ensure that this attention translates to real conservation actions on the ground.
    Alexanderyana Aka Ellie
    0.1.0 Bearded Dragon, 40 Leapord/Crestied ,Gargoyle ,Fat Tail Geckos,0.1.0 Cuban Knight Anole,1.1.0 Diamond Back Turtle, 0.1.0 Black Breasted Leaf Turtle. 1.1.0. Corn Snakes, 1.0.0 Sand Boa,1.0.0 Bumblee Bee BP,0.0.1 Lemon Pastel BP, 1.0.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake, 0.0.2 Axolotls,0.0.5 Trantulas, 3 Cats, 2 Dogs.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Little Turtles Learn They Have Big Friends (Baby Pig-nosed Turtles)

    "There needs to be more people getting involved, taking real actions to stop the illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade."
    I agree, so it's hopefully something our hobby in North America can focus on. A lot of people rely on CITIES/regional laws to dictate what should be on the market but the wild caught pet industry just translates to poor people in 3rd world countries collecting lizards for 25 cent a piece or smugglers moving animals to countries for legal overseas export. The entire wild caught animal industry is exploitation, both animal and human, and laws in civilized countries need to be changed to reflect the fact that it's poaching when you get to the basics of it. I recognize there is a need for wild caught exports to even establish a pet in the CB industry, sure, but there are hundred of countries in the world and it will take forever to have anti-WC initiatives in all of them so while the 1st world sets the example, the animals will still becoming available and will still be found 'laundered' as captive bred on the market anyways.
    There are very few species that aren't being bred in captivity that exist on the pet trade. Is there enough of these CB animals to supply the demand? Certainly not. So then prices skyrocket and then only serious hobbyist buy them instead of negligent owners picking out a 'throw away' pet. Stuff like cornsnakes stay cheap because the CB market is established, stuff like leaftails skyrocket in price because the market blocks wild caught specimens. I'll never forget this article...

    Hundreds of smuggled reptiles destined for exotic pet trade in U.S. die after being crammed into plastic tubs for five days


    • More than 1,600 reptiles and amphibians found at Johannesburg airport
    • Nearly one third of them were already dead and the others badly dehydrated
    • The creatures had been smuggled from Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...five-days.html

    and let's not forget this one:

    NY woman sentenced for smuggling turtles and reptiles into Canada by boat

    Sentenced to 18 months in jail and 3 years supervised release... <---- American Sentence! You'd never see something like this applied to a animal smuggling case here.
    She 'participated in a conspiracy to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of endangered and threatened species across the border for sale to collectors and dealers.'

    http://globalnews.ca/news/799681/ny-...anada-by-boat/
    Last edited by bigshynepo; 01-30-2015 at 10:48 AM.
    Snakes: Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, Lampropeltis pyromelana, Lampropeltis zonata agalma (bartlett phase), Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
    Lizards & Geckos: Tribolonotus novaeguineae, Goniurosaurus luii, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Eublepharis macularius, Paroedura pictus, Lepidothyris fernandi, Emoia nigra, Uroplatus Sikorae, Plestiodon fasciatus, Leiocephalus personatus, Hemidactylus frenatus

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Little Turtles Learn They Have Big Friends (Baby Pig-nosed Turtles)

    I watched a documentary of rare pet/consumed fish yesterday - how they use cyanide and are destroying the coral reefs. My god I never knew this was happening it was sick and saddening , they said it used to be 80 % of the fish, now they are establishing a safer way to do this and most fisherman are on board to help rebuild the coral reefs and to breed these fish.. I felt disgusted at wanting these tropical fish for pets and how they are caught..
    Alexanderyana Aka Ellie
    0.1.0 Bearded Dragon, 40 Leapord/Crestied ,Gargoyle ,Fat Tail Geckos,0.1.0 Cuban Knight Anole,1.1.0 Diamond Back Turtle, 0.1.0 Black Breasted Leaf Turtle. 1.1.0. Corn Snakes, 1.0.0 Sand Boa,1.0.0 Bumblee Bee BP,0.0.1 Lemon Pastel BP, 1.0.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake, 0.0.2 Axolotls,0.0.5 Trantulas, 3 Cats, 2 Dogs.

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